Keepers at the safari park near Frome at Longleat, Somerset have been busy recently making the two baby red pandas that were born at the park last month happy. Keepers say they are doubly delighted to welcome these cubs into the park as the birth of twin red #Panda is a rare event.
The parents of these red panda twins had arrived in this park as part of the European Endangered Species Program for the Red Panda. Ajenda, the father of the twin pandas was sent in the park in 2012 from Germany. Ajenda in German means the "king of the mountain." The mother panda, named Rufina, was sent to Longleat in 2013 from Italy.
Cubs and the mother are doing brilliantly
According to Sam Allworty, the keeper at the park, Rufina is taking good care of her young cubs, and can be seen moving the twins to different nesting areas regularly. Both cubs, as well as the mother, are in good health and doing brilliantly. Keepers are giving them eggs, fruits, special bamboo cake and occasional insects, in addition to bamboo leaves, to supplement their diet.
Red Pandas, like giant pandas, continue to remain under threat in the wilds. These animals are naturally found in Bhutan, Nepal, and China, and spend most of their time chewing bamboo leaves, which comprise almost two-thirds of their total food intake. Red pandas are solitary animals by nature, and approach the opposite sex only to breed.
Giant Panda is no longer an endangered species
Earlier this week, environmentalists across the world got an opportunity to be delighted after hearing the news that the giant panda is no longer an endangered species as it has been listed as a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (#IUCN). According to experts, this is the result of years of conservation efforts from naturalists and conservationists that helped protect the habitat of this animal.
According to IUCN, China's State Forestry Administration has put serious efforts to protect forests in the country. This has resulted in an increase in the forest cover in China, contributing to about 12% increase in occupied habitat for the animals.
Despite the good news, IUCN points out that there remains much to be done to save panda’s bamboo habitats. IUCN says climate change could destroy about 35% of the panda's habitat in next 80 years, and it is vital that conservation efforts from various governments and conservation agencies continue.